month : 11/2019 297 results

COMMUNITY GIVING: 21st annual Beer Church Turkey Bowl rolls a strike against hunger

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

Bowling, beer, and hunger-fighting, all rolled into one big event – that’s the Beer Church Turkey Bowl, and tonight it filled West Seattle Bowl (and countless glasses) for the 21st year. Your hosts as always, Kendall Jones and Kim Sharpe Jones of the Beer Church:

One of the night’s biggest signs of success was actually outside WS Bowl:

One of the breweries participating tonight, Old Stove Brewing, brought a half-ton of donated food in that van! That and other donations were a reason for West Seattle Food Bank executive director Fran Yeatts to smile:

Though the bowling lanes always sell out in advance, the Turkey Bowl is always open to community spectators to come drink some beer – including this year’s newly released Beer Church IPA – and get in on raffles:

In the crowd, we spotted Washington Beer Commission executive director Eric Radovich:

You might also know him from his announcing work – from the West Seattle 5K to Husky Stadium. And if you don’t already know – the Beer Church’s leaders also have a statewide role in the beer world too, publishing the Washington Beer Blog. Even if you missed tonight’s event, watch for the Beer Church IPA at a pub near you.

COUNTDOWN: What and who you’ll see at West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting

(WSB file photo)

Two weeks from tonight, you’re invited to the biggest event of the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays season … the Tree Lighting at Junction Plaza Park. The event will follow the format to which it changed last year – the lighting (6 pm Saturday, December 7th) will happen during a street-closed Night Market, with special musical performances throughout the afternoon and evening. From the West Seattle Junction Association, here’s the schedule, with West Seattle musician Brent Amaker emceeing:

4:00 PM Mode Music Studios
4:20 PM Endolyne Children’s Choir
4:45 PM School of Rock West Seattle
5:15 PM The Not-Its!
6:00 PM Santa and Jack Menashe light the tree!

The Night Market, on SW Alaska adjacent to the park, will start at 3 pm. But come to The Junction early and shop the year-round merchants; stay for dinner and/or drinks afterward!

LIGHT RAIL: West Seattleites share feedback at Sound Transit’s ‘neighborhood forum’

Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Neighbors and Sound Transit staff gathered Thursday night for a “neighborhood forum” at the Alki Masonic Center to talk about the West Seattle expansion of light rail, and what it means for the community.

It was a busy couple of days for light rail discussions. Earlier that same day, the ST Board gathered downtown for its regular meeting, focused on a discussion/briefing about the outcomes and effects of Initiative 976 (full WSB coverage here). The night before, ST held a neighborhood forum in downtown Seattle at the Central Library. Coming up the week after Thanksgiving, ST is holding additional forums in Chinatown-International District, Interbay/Ballard and right here in Delridge (info here).

The well-attended 2-hour forum began with an “open house” format, followed by a Sound Transit presentation and then an hour of individual table discussions. As attendees arrived, they were able to view informational materials and share input centered around two key questions: 1) What do you value about your community? and 2) How could a light rail station best serve your community?

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BIZNOTE: Happy anniversary, West Seattle Discovery Shop!

November 23, 2019 2:24 pm
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 |   Health | How to help | West Seattle news

Until 4:30 pm, you can visit the Discovery Shop in the West Seattle Junction and wish its volunteer staff – including Julia Jech and Midori Morgan-Gaide, in our photo above – a happy 29th anniversary! Proceeds from the shop at 4535 California SW benefit the American Cancer Society. There’s an anniversary deal for you if you visit today – 40 percent off one non-sale item. Even if you don’t want to shop, you can help the American Cancer Society by donating items for sale, Julia and Midori reminded us – nothing too big, no electronics, but they welcome “upscale resale merchandise.” You can be a volunteer too; stop in any time and find out how.

HOLIDAYS: Scenes from a bazaar-and-pop-up-palooza Saturday

November 23, 2019 11:39 am
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

As you might have noticed, today’s highlights list is peppered with pop-ups and bazaars. So we’re out dropping in on them.

STOP #1, ARROWHEAD GARDENS: Many handmade options at this bazaar, on until 3 pm in the community/welcome building on the east side of the complex (9200 2nd SW). We liked the bookmarks (above), which won’t fall out of your book like the traditional paper type. Jams, jellies, art, hats, bags, decorations, several rooms full of friendly vendors and their creations.

STOP #2, THE KENNEY: The bake sale (above) impressed us the most here – otherwise it’s more of a rummage sale.

On until 3 pm (lower level of central building, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW).

STOP #3, ALKI MASONIC CENTER: Biggest bazaar yet. Jim’s ceramic tabletop Christmas trees are a highlight.

Non-electronic creations too:

40th/Edmunds, until 4 pm.

STOP #4, WESTBRIDGE: This is a combination real-estate open house and pop-up shopping event, 3601 Fauntleroy, until 3 pm. Luxury clothing and jewelry. Plus wine and “small bites”:

And you can tour the newly built homes at WestBridge.

STOP #5, WHITE CENTER POP-UP MARKET: At 9630 16th SW, a currently empty and undergoing-renovations storefront in downtown White Center, this first-of-its-kind event is under way until 5 pm. The White Center Community Development Association organized it with the theme “resisting displacement”:

You can learn about longtime WC businesses while shopping and browsing participating vendors.

It’s not just about the turkeys at Eastridge Church giveaway event

It’s known as the turkey giveaway, but what Eastridge Church is offering right now is also all about keeping warm – stacks of clothing to keep away the chill. It’s also about the volunteers – like these Girl Scouts:

Others had warm beverages for those waiting in line:

We also found a familiar face among those volunteering:

Mark Solomon‘s job as an SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator used to include West Seattle’s Southwest Precinct; now he works in the South Precinct (and recently ran for City Council). Meantime, yes, there are turkeys:

And groceries:

No proof of need required – just show up at 39th/Oregon, while they last. (We’ll be checking back in a bit to see how it’s going.) Eastridge does this every year at tts two campuses, West Seattle and Issaquah, with 1,500 turkeys between the two.

16 options for your West Seattle Saturday!

November 23, 2019 6:07 am
|    Comments Off on 16 options for your West Seattle Saturday!
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Photo by Robin Sinner, shared via the WSB Flickr group)

First – from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:

EASTRIDGE CHURCH’S TURKEY/GROCERIES GIVEAWAY: Starting at 9 am hundreds of turkeys and bags of groceries will be given away at Eastridge Church. No proof of need required. Free coats available too. (4500 39th SW)

BAZAAR #1: Alki Masonic Center Holiday Bazaar, bake sale & food concessions too, 9 am-4 pm. (4736 40h SW)

BAZAAR #2: 10 am-3 pm, holiday bazaar/bake sale/rummage sale at The Kenney. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

BAZAAR #3: Arrowhead Gardens Holiday Bazaar, 10 am-3 pm. 20+ vendors! (9200 2nd SW)

OPEN HOUSE: Northwest Art & Frame Holiday Open House from 10 am to 5 pm: “There will be demos and discounts on various products, treats and goodies to snack on, and raffle drawings every 15 minutes.” (4733 California SW)

POP-UP LUXURY SHOP & HOME TOURS: Holiday Pop-Up Shoppingluxury clothes and jewelry – & Home Tours at WestBridge, noon-3 pm. Complimentary “small bites” too. (3601 Fauntleroy SW)

WHITE CENTER POP-UP MARKET: The White Center Community Development Association is presenting the first Community Pop-Up Market, 1 pm-5 pm: “Local artists, makers, and chefs will be showcasing and selling the products that they create with community. All proceeds will go to the local vendors.” (9630 16th SW)

BEER CHURCH TURKEY BOWL: 5:30-8 pm at West Seattle Bowl – lanes are sold out but you’re invited to join the party – donate food to the West Seattle Food Bank, get in on raffles, drink the Beer Church‘s new IPA, the list goes on. More info in our preview. (39th/Oregon)

And from the year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

KICKBALL SATURDAY: Highland Park Elementary‘s announcement of the new salmon “mural” in progress included an invitation for you to join this community event at the school today, 9:30 am. (1012 SW Trenton)

MINI-CHEER CAMP: 10 am-1 pm at West Seattle High School – info here. (3000 California SW)

(Friday night sunset – with sea lions in the distance – by Nathan Drackett)

‘HEAD OVER HEELS’: 7:30 pm curtain for the third night of the new musical at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) – check here for tickets. (4711 California SW)

REX GREGORY: 8 pm at the Pacific Room (WSB sponsor) on Alki, New Orleans-based saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Rex Gregory performs. Tickets here! (2808 Alki SW)

ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION BENEFIT: Enjoy live music and give the Alzheimer’s Association a boost tonight at The Skylark, 8 pm – details here. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

‘THE ORIGINALS’: 8 pm curtain for this world-premiere play at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

JOE T. COOK BLUES BAND CD RELEASE: 8 pm-midnight at Poggie Tavern, high-energy old-school Chicago and Texas Blues, Swing, and Originals, celebrating the new CD “Doghouse Joe.”

(Photo by Thomas Gotchy)

No cover. 21+. (4717 California SW)

DANCE PARTY: 9 pm at Parliament Tavern, with Will Rainier & The Pines, Ouija Boob, DJ Sheila Weeeee, DJ Dead Air. $8 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

LOOK AHEAD … via the Holiday Guide and year-round Event Calendar!

SPORTS: Chief Sealth International High School’s fall celebration

(Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)

Chief Sealth International High School celebrated a memorable fall sports season this week. Among the highlights, the Sealth slowpitch-softball team made it to the state tournament. But Wednesday night’s celebration banquet actually began with a big moment for a spring-sports star:

Seahawks pitcher Nestor German ceremonially signed his letter of intent to attend Seattle University. Sealth athletic director and baseball coach Ernest Policarpio called him one of the “hardest-working kids” he has known in his 15 years at the school. Nestor offered words of gratitude for his coaches, family, and Seattle U offering “this opportunity at the next level.”

Also in the spotlight – the fall sports’ Seahawk Award winners:

The awards honor work ethic and “being a total team player.” Each athlete received the award from their coach(es). In order of presentation – Carmen Yoshitomi, girls’ soccer coached by Mike Rillo:

Volleyball, Eve Elmore, coached by Dez Johnson:

Slowpitch, Leslie Rivas, coached by Alex Alicea:

Football, Zach Cunningham, coached by Ted Rodriguez:

Girls’ swimming, Lola Taylor, coached by Stephanie Hunt:

Cross-country, Cedric Gackenbach, coached by Alexia Ramos and John Ramos:

Golf, Koen Shaw, coached by George Cano:

Along with the awards, coaches offered brief summaries of season highlights, and there was a lot of gratitude to go around – for assistants, trainers, school administration, parents, and warm words from the AD for athletics secretary Debbie Taylor. Some of the coaches’ recaps provided reminders of how hard the students work to achieve in athletics as well as in classwork. Swim coach Hunt, in her first year, noted that the girls practice before school – 6:30 am, two days a week. “It takes a lot of heart, a lot of guts, and they’ve come in every day with a smile.” She also noted that one of their divers, Maggie Schiltz, competed at state. Football coach Rodriguez said 17 of his 26 players received all-league honors, and declared Policarpio “best athletic director in the district.”

Next up – winter sports, starting with the boys’ basketball jamboree one week from tomorrow.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Burglary spike continues

Back on Wednesday, we reported on a spike in residential burglaries in West Seattle. After a comment on that story tonight, reporting another break-in, we checked back with the Tweets by Beat log, and note that it’s continuing, with at least six residential break-ins in the past two days, all on the south half of the peninsula:

-8100 block 29th SW
-8800 block 16th SW
-7700 block 28th SW
-7800 block 39th SW (as reported in the aforementioned comment)
-7500 block California SW
-4000 block Othello

After the last story, Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner asked that we remind you she offers “free residential safety/security assessments, as well as burglary follow-ups” – she’s at – in case you’re not sure your home is as burglary-resistant as it could be.

DEVELOPMENT: 2 more West Seattle projects set for ‘early outreach’ meetings

Checking the city’s Early Community Outreach for Design Review calendar, we see 2 more West Seattle projects have set meetings. These are casual drop-in meetings at which you can ask the project team questions and offer early design feedback, not the big formal board meetings (which may or may not come later):

APARTMENTS AT 3417 HARBOR SW: We first reported on this back in April, a 5-story apartment building planned just north of the West Seattle Bridge. An Early Design Review Community Outreach Meeting with architects Atelier Drome is now set for Tuesday, December 17th, 6:30 pm at Hiawatha Community Center (2700 California SW). The project files show the team has continued talking with the city in the ensuing months; last month, for example, their request to avoid sidewalk improvements on the 30th SW side of the site was rejected. (Side note: Our April report mentioned the site was listed for sale for $2.5 million. Records show it sold last month for $2.1 million.)

TOWNHOUSES AT 2330 ALKI SW: We first wrote about this plan in September. 17 townhouses are proposed to replace a single-story apartment complex. Caron Architecture has an Early Community Outreach meeting scheduled for 6 pm Thursday, December 19th, at Alki Community Center (5817 SW Stevens).

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Beer Church Turkey Bowl tomorrow

(WSB file photo: Some of what was raffled off at a past Turkey Bowl)

‘Tis the season to give. The West Seattle-based Beer Church has done that every holiday season for more than 20 years via its beer-and-bowling benefit, the Turkey Bowl, and you’re invited to the party Saturday night at West Seattle Bowl. The lanes are sold out, but, Kim Sharpe Jones of the Beer Church says:

We encourage the community to come join the fun.

– enter to win target raffle prizes (tickets are $5, must be present to win; drawing will be around 7:15 pm)
– bring non-perishable food donations or monetary donations for the food bank
– try a Beer Church IPA – a collaboration beer by Two Beers Brewing, Georgetown Brewing and Airways Brewing to benefit Northwest Harvest

Stop by WS Bowl (39th/Oregon) between 5:30 pm and 8 pm tomorrow and be part of it.

AVALON/35TH PROJECT: Wondering ‘how much longer’?

(WSB photo, 35th SW south of Avalon, last Sunday)

Back in spring, SDOT said work on the 35th SW stretch of the Avalon/35th repaving-and-more project was expected to last into November. Now that November’s almost over, some WSB readers asked about a status update beyond the weekly progress reports. So we asked SDOT about that yesterday. Here’s the reply:

Based on our initial schedule, we expected work to continue on 35th Ave SW through November as we have expressed in past [mailing-list emails].

The overhead signs that you may have seen along the corridor refer to November as a completion date for the intersection at 35th Ave SW and SW Avalon Way. We anticipate wrapping up work at this intersection next week, prior to Thanksgiving.

In the first week in December, we plan to continue work on 35th Ave SW and progress towards working at the 35th Ave SW and SW Alaska St intersection and on SW Alaska St.

So bottom line, 35th SW work will NOT be completed this month.

Meantime, since SDOT’s media team sent that answer to our question, the project team’s official weekly update has arrived, with some elaboration:

We are wrapping up installing new signs along the corridor to help guide people driving and biking. As you adjust to the new channelization, please drive carefully and allow everyone a little extra space.

We will not be working Thursday, November 28 or Friday, November 29. We hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

Zone F (SW Alaska St from 35th Ave SW to 36th Ave SW):

We will begin work in Zone F as soon as the week of December 2 to complete concrete and utility improvement work. Construction here is expected to last a few months. We will provide more information about what you can expect during the first few weeks of construction next week.

Please expect:

Left turns for people traveling northbound on SW Avalon way at the 35th Ave SW intersection is now restored

Traffic delays at the 35th Ave SW and SW Avalon Way intersection due to temporary lane reductions

One lane of travel in each direction on SW Avalon Way

Right turns in and out of driveways at this time

Work is continuing in Zones C, D and E. See our website or most recent email updates for more information on what’s taking place.

When will work be completed on this project?
We anticipate completing work as soon as Spring 2020. We will continue to keep the community up to date on the latest schedule information.

BIZNOTE: Orange Twist celebrates West Seattle studio grand opening Saturday

November 22, 2019 1:28 pm
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

Another new addition to the mini-business hub just north of Luna Park:

Orange Twist is pleased to announce the opening of their studio located at 3400 Harbor Ave SW, #104. Artist and West Seattle resident Claire Jauregui started Orange Twist in 2008 as a way to foster connections between people while injecting humor and handcrafted design into everyday life. Her smart, funny, eco-friendly goods are made with recycled and organic materials and screenprinted by hand in Seattle.

Claire has participated in West Seattle community events including Summmer Fest, Alki Art Fair, Harvest Fest, and Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show; she is on the board of Seattle Print Arts; and has co-organized screenprinting work parties since 2017.

Claire will use the cozy, 120 sq. ft studio located in West Seattle ActivSpace to showcase her own work and that of local artists. She also plans to host exhibitions, classes, lectures, meetups, letter writing parties, political actions, and more.

Through December Orange Twist Studio features Seattle-area artists:
-Orange Twist cards, prints, and baby one-pieces
-Eco-friendly screenprinted clothing from Shino Mikami of Uzura
-Modern concrete vessels from Terra Link and Jacob Rideout of The Savvy Heart
-A selection of modern subtly-textured jewelry designs from Adia Mei Jun Bobo of Rain City Forge
-Natural, plant-based handmade soap, candles, and body butters from Estrella

Please join Claire at the Orange Twist Grand Opening Event on Saturday, November 23 from 12-6 pm for refreshments, art, gifts, and more.

After that, she plans “open studio” there every Friday and Saturday, noon-6 pm.

The great pre-Thanksgiving escape? Surprise West Seattle Turkey sighting

Commenters have wondered if The West Seattle Turkey would find a safe place to hang out until Thanksgiving was over. This photo just might be the answer. It’s from Chris at Compass Construction, which has West Seattle’s only current tower crane up and running along Fauntleroy just south of Alaska: “It looks like our feathered friend found a new perch on our tower crane!” This is the first turkey sighting we’ve heard of outside the south/east Admiral area since it settled in that area last spring.

8 for your West Seattle Friday!

November 22, 2019 10:26 am
|    Comments Off on 8 for your West Seattle Friday!
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Common Merganser, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Here are highlights for the rest of your Friday! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

WEST SEATTLE GARDEN CLUB: 10:30 am-2 pm at Daystar – you are welcome for any part of the day. (2615 SW Barton)

FRIDAY AFTERNOON MOVIE: “Songcatcher” (2000) at the Senior Center of West Seattle, 1 pm. $1 members/$2 nonmembers, popcorn included! (4217 SW Oregon)

THE WESTY TURNS 5: Celebrate starting at 4 pm with specials, free games, a celebratory IPA, and more – details here. (7908 35th SW)

JULIAN FOREST: Singer-songwriter performs live at the Pacific Room on Alki (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. No cover. All ages. (2808 Alki SW)

BOBCAT BOB: Popular performer at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. No cover. All ages. (5612 California SW)

‘HEAD OVER HEELS’: 7:30 pm curtain for the second night of the new musical at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) – check here for tickets. (4711 California SW)

‘THE ORIGINALS’: 8 pm curtain for this world-premiere play at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

THE HONKY TONKERS: Get in the swing of things at 9 pm at Parliament Tavern. $8 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

PREVIEW THE WEEKEND … via our West Seattle Holiday Guide and year-round Event Calendar!

WEST SEATTLE ART: New ‘mural’ at Highland Park Elementary, and an invitation for you

November 22, 2019 9:57 am
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE ART: New ‘mural’ at Highland Park Elementary, and an invitation for you
 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS culture/arts

The photos and report – with a community invitation – are from the Highland Park Elementary PTA:

Art has arrived on the Highland Park Elementary playground! Thursday morning HPE PTA volunteers and some of our fifth graders began forming a Salmon Mural made up of wooden “fish” painted by students, staff, and community members.

This is just the beginning of a permanent art installation that will be added to every year as our school family grows; a visual representation of how we all swim together. Big thank you’s to Principal Dysart for supporting the PTA’s vision, art teacher Monika Kuhlmann for bringing this project to life, and everyone who has given their energy and support to our school. Come celebrate with us on November 23rd [tomorrow] at 9:30 am for a fun Kickball Saturday where we’ll continue to build our community and play!

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Turkeys tomorrow

November 22, 2019 9:15 am
|    Comments Off on WEEKEND PREVIEW: Turkeys tomorrow
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

(WSB file photo)

Reminder that if you or someone you know eeeds help getting a Thanksgiving feast on the table, tomorrow is the day that Eastridge Church gives hundreds of turkeys and bags of groceries to anyone show shows up. It starts at 9 am Saturday outside the church, which has a West Seattle location at 39th/Oregon in The Junction. Coats are available too. This all will last as long as supplies do, usually at least a couple hours.

VIDEO: Camp Second Chance gets at least 1 more year on Myers Way – with church sponsorship

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The tiny-house encampment Camp Second Chance will stay on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels at least one more year beyond the end of its current permit extension next March – with one big change:

The city will lease the land currently being used for the camp to Fauntleroy Church, which will take on the camp as what its pastor Rev. Leah Bilinski describes as a “missional outpost.”

This was announced at tonight’s public meeting about the encampment’s future, held at the city Joint Training Facility, a few blocks north of the site the camp’s been on for more than three years. (We recorded video of the meeting and will add it when it’s ready – update, both clips added inline below.)

The church and city reached a deal earlier this week – after the Fauntleroy congregation voted on Sunday to move ahead – but would not confirm it until tonight’s announcement; we had an embargoed conversation with Rev. Bilinski in advance. This had been months in the making, and the city had made no secret – as we reported back in June – that finding a faith-based sponsor would be an option. (CSC got its start at a church in unincorporated King County before moving to West Seattle in the summer of 2016.)

As explained by both the pastor and the city, the agreement is a draft right now, to be finalized within the next few months. LIHI remains the camp operator, with a contract with the city (we have a request out for the current amount of city money it receives), and “the city will continue to monitor the village for compliance and performance.” LIHI will also have an agreement with the church, spelling out who’s accountable for what in the partnership.

Speaking to the meeting tonight, Rev. Bilinski said, “We’re doing this because our faith calls us to follow Christ” – to stand with people in need, including those who are homeless, and -“we believe in the residents of Camp Second Chance … I don’t know a person who has walked into Camp Second Chance without being impressed,” and hopeful. It’s a strong community, she declared, “and we’re delighted to be a part of that.” Read More

West Seattle holiday scene: After Hours @ Westwood Village

November 21, 2019 8:44 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle news | Westwood

The holiday season at Westwood Village kicked off tonight with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s monthly After-Hours event. In our photo above are board chair Lauren Burgon with new Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) co-proprietor Lauren Wiggins; attendees started the evening at Wyatt’s and roamed to other businesses. The Chamber has an even-bigger holiday event coming up – featured in our West Seattle Holiday GuideMix, Mingle, and Jingle on December 5th.

P.S. One big change at WWV this holiday season – no Santa photos, except for two Saturdays you can come take “selfies with Santa,” 2-4 pm December 14 and 21st.

DEVELOPMENT: Microapartment plan scrapped for Morgan Junction site

Just filed with the city: A new proposal for 6016 California SW, to replace the small mixed-use building and house currently on the site. As we reported two years ago, a 38-unit microapartment building was proposed previously. Now a newly filed site plan proposes seven townhouses- three live-work units facing California, four residential-only units behind.

LIGHT RAIL: How might I-976 affect it, for West Seattle and elsewhere?

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Just a few hours before tonight’s Sound Transit “neighborhood forum” in West Seattle (6 pm, Alki Masonic Center), the ST Board‘s regular meeting centered on a briefing/discussion about the effects of Initiative 976:

We were downtown for the meeting, which – after an occasionally raucous public-comment period – began with ST staffers briefing the board. First – “where we are” in terms of ST’s current timeline for expansion programs. If revenue were cut, the projects through 2024, the board was told, would be the “last places” they’d cut. But the projects starting with 2030 – projected opening date for the West Seattle extension – potentially different story.

General counsel Desmond Brown then opened with toplines on “what 976 says and does.” … “The provisions repealing our taxes do not take effect at this time,” but rather once $2.3 billion in outstanding bonds and debt are paid off – and it’s up to the board when those debts/bonds will be retired.
(Added – from the slide-deck printout, the relevant ballot-pamphlet language:)

The outstanding bond contracts provide for motor-vehicle-excise taxes and rental-car rates staying at the current rates until those are paid off. Brown said. He also noted that the initiative is now being challenged in court, and if it stands, there will probably be an ensuing lawsuit about when that debt has to be retired. Could ST be forced to retire it sooner? There’s legal precedent on that, Brown said.

CEO Peter Rogoff pointed out that other agencies “that feed passengers to Sound Transit” – such as Metro – are nonetheless facing “very serious” challenges because of 976. Other transit agencies face a “devastating” loss of revenue, and service to their users. “Sound Transit cares deeply about what happens to all our partners,” Rogoff said.

Chief Financial Officer Tracy Butler picked up from there. If the bonds were “defeased,” it would mean $7.2 billion less in revenue through 2041, and the agency could run out of “financial capacity as early as 2029” – which means ST could have to cancel or delay projects and/or reduce services.

But delaying wouldn’t be much of a solution, Butler said. Say, projects are delayed by five years – that could cost $6 billion more in capital costs, %16 billion in added interest through 2061, and could delay a “tax rollback” for 12 years, costing taxpayers $25 billion more in additional taxes through 2061 “to fund a delayed voter-approved program.”

Board chair John Marchione said the reason voters approved ST3 was a recognition that transit expansion was long overdue. “This is our region’s transportation catch-up plan” and the investments require a tax investment. “The only available sources are the sales tax, property tax, and MVET. Nobody loves writing a big check for (vehicle renewals)” but he believes voters spoke loudly with ST3 – and that was louder than the margin, in the ST district, spoke with 976:

After a closed-door executive session, the board emerged to discuss its “response to 976.” It was first announced that ST won’t take any of its own legal action right now – they have to keep reviewing the “legal issues” and monitoring the other litigation. So individual board members were invited to speak. Only two did, neither from Seattle/King County. The first warned that the board had best not just focus on its “district” but should pay attention to the “frustration” elsewhere in the region and state. And he said the valuation discrepancy that led to the taxation rate made that frustration worse. “We have got to get this resolved – people need to believe they’re paying car tabs based on an accurate valuation of their vehicle.” Another board member said it’s important to keep the pressure on the Legislature.

So bottom line remains “too soon to say” what happens next, but there’s a chance West Seattle light rail could be delayed or even canceled as part of a worst-case scenario.

Earlier in the meeting:

PUBLIC COMMENT: In this section of the meeting, before the 976 discussion, Youngstown property owner Dennis Noland spoke first, thanking the board for agreeing to include the Andover/Yancy alternative in environmental studies. He was followed by Tim Eyman, author of 976, who called his initiative an “overwhelming repudiation” of ST. “People outside Seattle have no voice any more.” Eyman then declared he was running for governor next year and at that point got booted from the microphone, with an explanation that “campaigning” isn’t allowed. Someone briefly chanted “let him talk” while someone counter-chanted “No campaigning.” … Other speakers were both pro and con 976. Two speakers in particular called out the effects that 976 could have on people with disabilities.

TONIGHT’S MEETING: Again, if you see this before 6 pm, that’s when ST’s West Seattle “neighborhood forum” begins – all welcome – Alki Masonic Center, 4736 40th SW.

ADDED: Post-board meeting, ST published this statement from board chair Marchione.

Extra Seattle Police ’emphasis patrols’ to include 2 areas of West Seattle

(October 25th WSB photo)

Four weeks after Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s most-recent walking tour in West Seattle, she’s announced that two local areas are part of “extra holiday patrols” planned by Seattle Police. From a news release just sent by the mayor’s office:

To help enhance public safety for Seattle residents and visitors during the holiday season, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and Chief of Police Carmen Best announced today that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) will begin extra holiday patrols in nine areas across Seattle on November 30 and continue them through December. SPD will also deploy specific operational plans and patrols on both November 29 (Black Friday) and December 31 (New Year’s Eve) …

… Neighborhoods that see high volume of holiday shoppers and holiday events with emphasis patrols will include:
Downtown retail core between 3rd and 6th Avenues between Olive and Union
Capitol Hill
Columbia City
University Village
University District
Westwood Village/Roxhill Park
West Seattle Junction/California Ave SW

Residents and visitors in areas with extra holiday patrols can expect to see an increased presence by SPD officers both on foot and on bikes.

Earlier this year, Mayor Durkan and Chief Best announced pre-summer and summer emphasis programs to improve public safety and address maintenance needs in neighborhoods across Seattle.

Emphasis patrols are a recognized practice in police departments across the country and an evidence-based strategy to fight crime. They are also a decades-long strategy in Seattle.

In 2019, the emphasis patrols, combined with the work of City departments to address maintenance needs, showed positive results. Officers in emphasis zones made contact with hundreds of individuals, offering services, referrals to Law Enforcement Assisted-Diversion (LEAD), warnings, and citations. Residents have reported increased visibility by SPD officers.

Holiday emphasis patrols will not reduce regular SPD and City of Seattle operations, including police patrols and criminal investigations throughout Seattle; regular operations and criminal investigations will continue. SPD will continue to evaluate the impact to understand continued and future deployments in those and other areas.

As part of her 2020 Proposed Budget currently being considered by City Council, Mayor Durkan proposed including $847,000 to continue those community-based emphasis patrols at 2019 levels in 2020.

As of November 20, 2019, Citywide crime is down six percent compared to the same time in 2018.

These won’t be the first such patrols in those areas of West Seattle – precinct leadership has mentioned them multiple times before in local community meetings.

UPDATE: Crash on westbound West Seattle Bridge

12:27 PM: The response to that crash on the westbound West Seattle Bridge near 1st Avenue S. has just been upgraded to “rescue extrication” and that half of the bridge is being closed at the scene.

12:31 PM: Firefighters have extricated one person from the wrecked vehicle and SFD says she is in “stable condition.”

12:35 PM: As this SDOT camera view looking westward shows, one eastbound lane is blocked too:

12:45 PM: One westbound lane is now open.

1 PM: SDOT cameras now show only the inside westbound lane is blocked; other lanes have reopened.

1:15 PM: All cleared.